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Title: Philosophy of Spiritualism
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Autumn_Heather
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Registered: 11/21/2008

(Date Posted:01/08/2009 05:18 AM)
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PHILOSOPHY OF SPIRITUALISM

The following Declaration of Principles is published to the world, not as a creed binding on the conscious of the individual, but as the consensus of a very large majority of Spiritualists on the fundamental teachings of Spiritualism:

We believe in Infinite Intelligence.

We believe that the phenomena of Nature, both physical and spiritual, are the expression of Infinite Intelligence.

We affirm that a correct understanding of such expression and living in accordance therewith, constitute true religion.

We affirm that the existence and personal identity of the individual continue after the change called death.

We affirm that communication with the so-called dead is a fact, scientifically proven by the phenomena of Spiritualism.

We believe that the highest morality is contained in the Golden Rule: "Whatsoever ye would that others should do unto you, do ye also unto them."

We affirm the moral responsibility of individuals, and that we make our own happiness or unhappiness as we obey or disobey Nature’s physical and spiritual laws.

We affirm that the doorway to reformation is never closed against any human soul here or hereafter.

We affirm that the precepts of Prophecy and Healing are Divine attributes proven through Mediumship.
 
Paganism is a broad, eclectic contemporary religious movement that encompasses shamanistic, ecstatic, polytheistic, and magical religions. Most of the religions termed Pagan are characterized by nature-centered spirituality, honoring of pre-Christian deities, dynamic, personal belief systems, lack of institutionalizatio n, a quest to develop the self, and acceptance and encouragement of diversity. Paganism is sometimes referred to as Neo-Paganism to emphasize its connections to as well as difference from pre-Christian religions. Paganism is a worldwide phenomenon and includes revived and updated ancient European practices and religions, feminist Goddess-worship, and religions inspired by science-fiction writings. For their inspiration, Pagans look to non-Abrahamic, ecstatic, and mystery religions of Europe as well as indigenous and magic-using traditions from around the world. Contemporary Paganism is interwoven with artistic, visionary, and libertarian
Traditions and emphasizes the free will of the individual. Many traditions celebrate rituals to mark transitions in the natural world (such as solstices, lunar phases, or a birth) as well as in a person's life (such as marriage or moving to a new home).
While the largest segment of the Pagan population is Caucasian and middle class, Paganism cuts across all lines, whether racial, occupational, or class- or gender-based. Most Pagans, however, are avid readers with interests in ecology, creativity, and personal growth. Many come from the scientific, computer, and technical fields. Since it is not an organized movement, it is very difficult to determine the number of its practitioners, but it is estimated that there are between 100,000 and 600,000 in the U.S. Alone. Some have termed Paganism the fastest-growing religion in the West.
History & Structure
Paganism as a movement grew out of the growing environmental awareness in the 1960s, though it encompasses some traditions from the Middle Ages and earlier. Since most Pagan religions are nature-centered, Pagans rethink the way in which we relate to the Earth. Rather than seek dominance over the environment, Pagans work to live as a part of Nature, finding a balance between the self, the biosphere, and society. Part of this rethinking goes along with the resurgence of Goddess-worship, which is widespread in the Pagan movement. Many Pagans look to the fertility Goddesses of old and find vibrant, dynamic models for ecological balance. The myriad Goddesses from the past also provide Pagans with a vision of powerful feminine divinity which is missing from other Western religions.
The Pagan movement has become somewhat coherent largely through networks, journals, and festivals. But it is not unified or structured - herein lies some of its greatest appeal. Pagans believe profoundly in freedom and the power of the individual. People are encouraged to explore paths that are most helpful to them, rather than conform to a specific code of beliefs. Through magazine columns and personal contact, Pagans participate in a dynamic marketplace of ideas, where each person is encouraged to contribute and to take away what is most appropriate for him or her. Rather than structuring the community around a particular set of beliefs or symbols, Pagans concentrate on process to create community. A variety of practices are used to fulfill spiritual needs, heal, or create change. Each person's particular technique is honored in the understanding that our aims are often the same. Most Pagans abide by some form of "If it harm none, do what you will."
There are no charismatic gurus in Paganism. Pagans do not seek to convert others. Each Pagan is independent and autonomous, even when working in groups. All value choosing one's own path and beliefs. There is no one spokesperson for Paganism.
One of the most characteristic elements of Pagan religions is their adaptability. In the case of nature-based religions, some will differ from others simply because their practitioners live in different parts of the country. For instance, a system that includes rituals celebrating snowfall would be inappropriate for people in areas where it doesn't snow. Pagans believe that religions must change to meet the needs of people on an everyday basis. While some Pagan religions can be quite esoteric, most Pagan beliefs and practices are rooted in everyday, natural experience. Myths, rituals, and techniques are adapted to meet particular needs.
Some Pagan Systems and Religions
Most American Pagans practice a blend of different traditions, the most popular of which are Celtic, Greco-Roman, Native American, ancient Egyptian, and Norse.
Asatru: Norse Pagan religion celebrating the principles of courage, truth, honor, fidelity, discipline, hospitality, industriousness, self-reliance, and perseverance.
Church of All Worlds: Promotes celebration and honoring of all life and the planet as a living, divine organism: Gaea. Combination of worldwide Goddess traditions.
Discordianism: Honors the Chaos principle and the humor of chance.
Druidism: Many varieties of Druidism are practiced, with varying emphasis on scholarly research into the original Druids, who were the priest/ess and judicial class of the ancient Celts.
Egyptian: Draws on the four thousand years of complex spiritual and magical systems of pharaonic Egypt.
Kabbalah: Jewish mystical and magical system developed since the Middle Ages. The most influential magical system in the development of the Western magical tradition.
Magic (sometimes spelled "magick"): Most Pagan religions practice some form of magic, which can be defined as getting results through the application of will. Magic falls into two very general categories; "practical" or "folk" magic pertains to everyday life and is performed with common implements like stones or candles, while "high" or "ceremonial" magic often requires rigorous training, utilizes ancient languages, and concerns the mystical development of the self to its greatest potential.
Shamanism: Practiced by Native peoples worldwide. Shamanic techniques such as drumming are used in many different Pagan systems. In traditional societies, shamans travel to the spirit realm to gain information pertaining to the community's needs, such as healing or spiritual growth.
Witchcraft: Also known as Wicca or simply the Craft. Honoring of Goddess and God (some traditions honor the Goddess alone), use of magic, and healing, all within the context of "If it harm none, do what you will." Pagan Witchcraft has nothing to do with and is antithetical to Satanism.Pagan Traditions

ALEXANDRIAN TRADITION --This tradition is not considered to be Celtic, however, many Celtic traditions incorporate aspects of the Kabbalistic rites in the Alexandrian Tradition.

ANGLO-SAXON TRADITION --This is an English tradition which combines the practices of the Southern Teutons and the Celts.

ARTHURIAN TRADITION --This is one of the more well-known traditions. As the name implies, this tradition is based on Arthurian Legends from Cornwall and Wales.

ASATRU --The Norse and Celtic ways are followed by the practitioners of Asatru.

BRITISH TRADITIONAL --This is a mix of Celtic and Gardenarian traditions and beliefs, however, there is not a lot of structure.

CALEDONII TRADITION --This tradition preserves the Scottish festivals. It orginated in Scotland and was formally known as the Hecatine Tradition.

CELTIC TRADITION --This broad tradition originated in Celtic Gaul, Western and Northern England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Brittany and the Isle of Man.

CYMRI TRADITION --Pronounced KIM-ree or KEEM-ree, this tradition is the principle Pagan tradition of Wales. It is influenced in part by the Arthurian legends.

DEBOREAN TRADITION --An American eclectic tradition which attempts to reconstruct Wicca as it was before The Burning Times or the European witch craze.

DIANIC TRADITION--Sometime s said to be the feminist movement of the Craft, this tradition focuses mainly on the Goddess.

DRUIDIC TRADITIONS --This tradition is based on the rituals, rites, magick and practices of the Celtic priestly class, the Druids.

EIREANNACH TRADITION --Pronounced AIR-un-n'yock, this name is a catch-all of many Irish-influenced traditions.

FAERY TRADITION --The origins of this tradition come from the myths and legends of the Tuatha De Danann, the deities who are now known as "Faery Folk". This tradition focuses heavily on the environment.

FAMILY TRADITIONS --Traditions which are passed down through families are known as "Family Traditions". Some are secretive, others openly practice their Celtic Pagan beliefs, often times mixed with mainstream religious beliefs.

FENNIAN TRADITION --This tradition is based on the Fianna, Fionn MacCumhal's warriors.

GAELIC TRADITION --A generic description, sometimes applied to the Celtic traditions of Ireland and Scotland.

GARDNERIAN TRADITION --Founded by Gerald Gardner in the 1950's, this tradition generally has a very structured systems.

IRISH TRADITION --Another generic term used to describe traditions native to Ireland.

MANX TRADITION --An Irish tradition deeply connected with the mystical Isle of Man. Manann Mac Llyr, God of the Sea and Fand, a Faery Queen are the principal deities.

NORDIC TRADTION --This tradition dates back to ancient times, following the belief systems of the Teutons.

NORTH ISLES TRADITION --This tradition was heavily influenced by the Norse and is prominent in the Orkney and Shetland Islands of Scotland. To this day, many ancient Nordic celebrations are still held.

OBOD --This acronym stands for the Celtic English Druidic tradition, Order of Bard, Ovates and Druids.

PECTI-WITA --Pecti-Wita is a solitary tradition influenced by the Picts, a pre-Celtic people who warred with the Celts.

SEAX-WICA --Organized by Raymound Buckland in 1973, this tradition is influenced by Saxon tradtions and beliefs.

STREGA --Originated in Italy, this beautiful practice began in 1383 with a woman named Aradia.

~ Keep in mind however that these are not ALL the tradtions out there, and there is nothing wrong with mixing traditions together to make your practice personally you.
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